Arts & Culture
For a town its size, Prescott has a large number of cultural and artistic attractions. In fact, its art scene brings visitors from all over to browse the excellent galleries, including Prescott College's Sam Hill Warehouse Visual Arts Center. Art hangs in various non-gallery spaces, such as the The Raven Cafe , and theatrical and other performances take place around town. Larger entertainment venues, including the Yavapai Community College Performance Hall and Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley, provide space for sports events and touring acts that draw big crowds.
The Arts Scene
Several arts-related organizations located downtown sponsor monthly art walks and gallery showings, including the McCormick Arts District and the Mountain Artists Guild. Gallery shows, including Independent Study Shows and the Senior Arts Expo, showcase excellent student projects. And galleries, ranging from funky to upscale, feature a wide variety of artistic styles.
Throughout the year students can watch or participate in theater productions at the Prescott Center for the Arts , Sharlot Hall Museum Blue Rose Theater , Elks Opera House, Yavapai College, and the Granite Performing Arts Center on the Prescott College campus. Film series sponsored by clubs or departments are generally free or inexpensive, while Hollywood features screen at the Harkins theater just twenty minutes from campus.
Prescott boasts several museums devoted to Western life and art, Native American and Southwestern history, including Prescott's own colorful past (it's not just about Old West legends Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp!)
The most prominent of those museums resulted from the efforts of Prescott rancher, writer and activist Sharlot Hall (1870–1943), who realized as a young woman that the artifacts of her pioneer, ranching childhood were being scattered and lost. She began to rescue them, and her collection laid the foundations for the museum that bears her name. Sharlot Hall Museum , just a few blocks from Prescott College, hosts a variety of events through the year. The nearby Smoki Museum offers art and artifacts from the indigenous cultures of the Southwest. The Phippen Museum on the northern edge of town, features a range of Western and cowboy art.
The variety of entertaining and educational events within this town of 40,000 is astounding and well celebrated. Flyers posted daily on campus bulletin boards and around town keep Prescott College students updated.
Tsunami on the Square , the town’s free, all-ages performing arts festival, is a Prescott College favorite. Between Peace Day, Earth Day, Prescott Territorial Days and the Prescott Frontier Days Festival, everyone has plenty of opportunity to get a taste of Prescott’s local flavor. From late spring into early fall, several art and craft fairs bloom on the Courthouse Square, not to mention the Wildfire Expo and other educational events. In early December, there’s the "Acker Night", named after a Prescott resident and benefactor, when roughly 100 downtown businesses host local musical and performance acts, and much of the city turns out to stroll among the festival pre-holiday crowds and listen to the music. The event raises performing arts scholarship money for local students.
Open mics, writing workshops
Prescott provides great venues for those who want to get involved, too. Poets and aspiring musicians find kindred souls at open mike nights at several area coffeehouses and bars. One of the best is hosted by Prescott Cantina in downtown Prescott every Thursday night.
For those gifted with a pen, there are both professional and amateur writing workshops available to Prescott residents. Yavapai College’s Literary Southwest Series regularly brings in world class writers for readings and question and answer sessions.
Dance and movement
Students can participate in performance groups such as the diverse Village Life Community Drum and Dance; they can learn the secrets of fire dancing, or tap into traditional contra dancing, and of course there's a Capoeira Club on campus. The College’s dance students perform regularly for the public. Daily tai chi and yoga courses, posted on the College bulletin boards, are offered throughout Prescott.
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